New Version of Employment Verification Form I-9 Issued, Becomes Mandatory January 2017

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, has published a new version of Form I-9, which must be used by all employers to verify a new employee’s identity and eligibility to work in the U.S. The new form, dated November 14, 2016, becomes mandatory for use beginning January 22, 2017.

The USCIS said the revised three-page form will be easier to complete on a computer. It also is designed to reduce confusion and will help employers avoid technical errors that could result in hefty fines. The changes include:

  • Prompts to ensure information is entered correctly. It will notify the user of any missing fields, dates inputted incorrectly and social security numbers that are missing a digit.
  • Improved naming convention. Employees now only need to provide "other last names used" rather than "all other names" used. This is expected to avoid possible discrimination issues and protect privacy of transgender and other individuals who have changed their first names.
  • A dedicated area for additional information. Employers currently provide this in the margins of the form.

The USCIS said employers must remember that the revised I-9 form must still be printed out so employees and/or their preparers can sign them. They can be stored on- or off-site in a single format or combination of formats, such as paper, microfilm or microfiche, or electronically.

More information and copies of the new form are available at www.uscis.gov/i-9.